[WOMEN'S EURO '09]
With five WPS players in its squad, England came into the 2009 European Women's Championship with high hopes, but it crashed to
Italy, 2-1, Tuesday in its opening game.
England's troubles began in the 38th minute when Casey Stoney
English took the lead on Fara Williams
' penalty kick but the Azzurre rallied to win on goals by Patrizia Panico
from 25 yards. Alex Scott
, Karen Carney
and Eniola Aluko
all started for England while the ailing Kelly Smith
came off the bench.
WPS players Camille Abily
and Sonia Bompastor
had better luck, both converting penalty kicks in France's 3-1 win over Iceland.
St. Louis Athletica defender Sara Larsson
was in the starting lineup for Sweden in its 3-0 win over Russia.
Host Finland opened with a
1-0 win over Denmark before 16,324 fans at the Olympic Stadium, a record for a women's international in Finland.
Former Notre Dame star Anne
started and former Florida State striker Sanna Talonen
came on as a substitute.
Another former Seminole, Kirsten van de Ven
, scored for the Netherlands in a 2-0 win over Ukraine. RESULTS Group A Netherlands 2
(Van de Ven 4, Stevens 9) Ukraine 0
. Finland 1
(Saari 49) Denmark 0 Group B Germany 4
(Bresonik pen. 33, Bajramaj 90, 90+ 4, Mittag 90+ 2) Norway 0
. France 3
(Abily pen. 18,
Bompastor pen. 53, Necib 67) Iceland 1
(Magnusdottir 6). Group C Italy 2
(Panico 56, Tuttino 82) England 1
(Williams 38 pen.) Sweden 3
(Rohlin 5, Sandell
Svensson 15, Seger 82) Russia 0